Be more like Chipotle, Jerry Brown tells California universities
Sacramento bee's ALEXEI KOSEFF: "Gov. Jerry Brown, who in his last two terms has pushed, often unsuccessfully, to reshape the state's expansive higher education system, on Wednesday suggested that California universities should be more like Chipotle."
"Addressing the California Chamber of Commerce host breakfast for the final time as governor, Brown launched into an extended riff about the fast casual Mexican food chain, noting that Chipotle announced this week it is moving its headquarters to California and expressing admiration for its cheap burrito bowls."
"What I like about Chipotle is the limited menu. You stand in the line, get either brown rice or white rice, black beans or pinto beans," Brown said. "You put a little cheese, a little this, a little that, and you're out of there. I think that's a model some of our universities need to follow."
Dem targets Tom McClintock in uphill fight
MATTHEW KRAMER in Capitol Weekly: "Placer County is seen as a bastion of red in a largely blue state — and Republican Congressman Tom McClintock has carried the district easily for the past decade. But this election year, amid the deepening anti-Trump sentiment in California, will things be different for the veteran lawmaker?"
"Political handicappers believe McClintock faces a significant fight but likely will keep his seat. The Cook Political Report currently rates McClintock’s seat as “Likely – Not considered competitive…but (having) the potential to become engaged.” That’s a rating down from “Solid Seats,” which are not considered contested or competitive."
"Not surprisingly, Democrats don’t agree."
Can seaweed make cow farts less potent? These UC Davis scientists hope to find out
Sacramento Bee's BENJY EGEL: "Early indications of a UC Davis study show feeding dairy cows seaweed may reduce methane emissions caused by their defecation, belching and flatulence, the university announced Thursday."
"UC Davis animal science department chair Ermias Kebreab and animal nutrition graduate student Breanne Roque separated 12 Holstein cows into three groups, two of which received different doses of seaweed in their feed and one of which got no seaweed at all."
"The numbers we’re seeing are amazing — well beyond the target that farmers will need to reach," Kebreab said in a media release. "This is a very surprising and promising development."
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California GOP candidates pressure other Republicans to drop out
The Chronicle's JOHN WILDERMUTH/JOE GAROFOLI: "A pair of GOP hopefuls showed up in Burlingame on Thursday to stress the need for California Republicans to unify if they want to win in the June 5 primary."
"But for John Cox, a candidate for governor, and Steven Bailey,who is running for attorney general, “unity” means their GOP rivals should wave a white flag, drop out and endorse them."
IRS hints it's not excited about state workaround laws
The Chronicle's KATHLEEN PENDER: "In a notice seen as a warning, the Internal Revenue Service this week said will issue regulations about state laws designed to get around the new $10,000 limit on the federal deduction for state and local taxes."
"Specifically, the IRS said it would issue regulations regarding the federal tax treatment of workaround laws that give residents a state or local tax credit if they make a charitable donation to a fund controlled by state or local governments or to a designated charity. New York and New Jersey have adopted such laws, and California is considering two bills on the charitable donation issue."
Al Sharpton returns to Sacramento for Stephon Clark: 'We are not going to let this issue go.'
Sacramento Bee's ANITA CHABRIA: "Civil rights icon and television commentator the Rev. Al Sharpton visited Sacramento Wednesday to meet with the California Legislative Black Caucus about the police shooting of Stephon Clark."
"Clark was shot by two Sacramento officers on March 18 after police apparently mistook his cellphone for a gun."
"Clark's death led to massive protests in Sacramento and drew international attention. Sharpton was last in Sacramento for Clark's funeral on March 29 at Bayside of South Sacramento Church, where he gave the eulogy, vowing, "We will never let you forget the name of Stephon Clark until we get justice."
CalPERS' new investment plan -- wise or risky?
CALmatters' DAN WALTERS: "As everyone knows – or should know – California’s huge public employee pension system is very short of the money it needs to cover all of the retirement promises made to nearly two million workers and retirees."
"By its own numbers, the California Public Employees Retirement System (CalPERS) is scarcely two-thirds “funded” – and that calculation assumes that its investments will meet its projected earnings goal of 7.5 percent a year, declining slowly to 7 percent."
"However, CalPERS’ own staff says that at least over the next 10 years, it can expect earnings about a percentage point lower."
Crackdown on immigrants takes a toll on federal judge: 'I have presided over a process that destroys families'
LA Times's LAUREN VILLAGRAN: "Day in, day out, immigrants shuffle into Judge Robert Brack's courtroom, shackled at the wrist and ankle, to be sentenced for the crime of crossing the border."
"The judge hands down sentences with a heavy heart. Since he joined the federal bench in 2003, Brack has sentenced some 15,000 defendants, the vast majority of them immigrants with little or no criminal record."
Recreational pot vendors don't need to keep your personal info. But they do anyway
Fresno Bee's JIM GUY: "California recreational marijuana dispensaries are collecting customers' personal information – including government identification documents as well as what products they buy – even though the record keeping is not part of Proposition 64, the state law voters approved in November 2016."
"Collection of the data raises concerns for some because it remains unclear how the federal government intends to respond to marijuana legalization, since the herb remains a controlled substance in U.S. statutes."
"In contrast, Colorado and Oregon, states that also have legalized recreational use, banned collection of personal information. And officials in Washington, another state with legal weed, said building customer databases is not practiced there."
Pressure grows on Board of Trustees amid USC gynecologist scandal
LA Times's SARAH PARVINI/ADAM ELMAHREK/PAUL PRINGLE: "USC's large and powerful Board of Trustees is coming under growing pressure to provide a stronger hand as the university faces a crisis over misconduct allegations against the campus' longtime gynecologist that has prompted calls for President C.L. Max Nikias to step down."
Deaths from fentanyl surge to record 746 in California
The Chronicle's CATHERINE HO: "A record number of Californians died in 2017 after overdosing on fentanyl, the opioid that is many times stronger than other prescription painkillers and heroin."
"According to the California Department of Public Health, 746 people died from fentanyl overdoses last year. That is more than three times the 237 people who died from fentanyl overdoses in 2016, and nine times the 81 who died from overdosing on the drug in 2013."
Bay Area home prices hit another record high in April
The Chronicle's KATHLEEN PENDER: "Bay Area home prices set another record for the second straight month in April, as the median climbed to $850,000. That’s up 2.4 percent from March and 13.3 percent from April of last year, according to a CoreLogic report released Thursday."
"It was the ninth consecutive month of double-digit year-over-year increases. Over the last six months, those gains have averaged 13.2 percent, compared to a year-over-year gain of 6.5 percent during the same period a year ago."
He was a good soldier, but a poor recruiter; now he's headed to prison
Sacramento Bee's SAM STANTON: "There's little dispute that Steel Davis served his country as a soldier."
"The 45-year-old Butte County resident served at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, in the Army from 1993 through 1996, helping to put down riots among prisoners there and surviving a gunshot wound that grazed his temple when another soldier accidentally fired his pistol."
"He signed up for the California National Guard several times after that, and asked to be sent into combat in Afghanistan in 2005, where he served as a gunner on a Humvee protecting convoys. He served two stints in Afghanistan, and earned nearly two dozen commendations and medals for his service."
READ MORE related to Prisons & Public Safety: No surprise, activists say, in DA's decision to clear police in fatal shootings -- The Chronicle's RACHEL SWAN
Border Patrol Union calls Trump's National Guard deployment a 'colossal waste'
LA Times's MOLLY HENNESSY-FISKE: "A month after President Trump called for sending National Guard troops to the U.S.-Mexico border, the head of the national Border Patrol union called the deployment "a colossal waste of resources."
"We have seen no benefit," said Brandon Judd, president of the union that represents 15,000 agents, the National Border Patrol Council."
BART board votes down extension in Livermore
The Chronicle's MICHAEL CABANATUAN: "BART won’t go to Livermore, the transit agency’s Board or Directors decided after a nearly four-hour hearing in Oakland on Thursday."
"On a 5-4 vote, the board sided with those who felt BART should focus on rebuilding and modernizing the existing system before it commits to building more extensions. Directors Bevan Dufty, Nick Josefowitz, Rebecca Saltzman, Lateefah Simon and Robert Raburn voted against building the $1.6 billion extension. John McPartland, Debora Allen, Joel Keller and Tom Blalock voted for the extension."
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Harvey Weinstein to surrender, face criminal charges in NY sexual assault case, sources say
LA Times's RICHARD WINTON/JAMES QUEALLY: "Harvey Weinstein is expected to turn himself in to face sexual assault allegations in New York, in what would mark the first criminal charges against the disgraced former movie mogul, sources familiar with the case said Thursday."
"The sources said the case involved — but might not be limited to — a once-aspiring actress who has alleged that Weinstein assaulted her during a meeting at his Miramax office in 2004. Lucia Evans told the New Yorker magazine last year that Weinstein said during a meeting that she'd "be great in 'Project Runway' " before allegedly forcing her to perform oral sex."
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